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Archive for January 22nd, 2019

Harrah’s Philadelphia to Soft-Launch Pennsylvania’s Sixth Sportsbook on Jan. 22

Harrah’s Philadelphia becomes the fourth casino in the Philly area to go live with in-person sports betting

Caesars’ Harrah’s Philadelphia is set to go live with sports betting this Tuesday, January 22, right in time for the upcoming Super Bowl, which traditionally captures quite a lot of betting attention.

Harrah’s Philadelphia’s sportsbook will be the fourth retail betting facility in the Philly area and the sixth in Pennsylvania to become operational, following last year’s strikedown of a long-standing federal ban on wagering on sports. Mobile betting is expected to be rolled out in the state later this year.

The Chester-based casino will soft-launch its sportsbook at 2 pm on Tuesday. The facility will undergo a two-day testing period that will be overwatched by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If everything goes according to plan, the sportsbook will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday.

Like Caesars’ Atlantic City wagering facilities, the Harrah’s Philadelphia sportsbook will be powered by SG Digital.

‘The Book’ at Harrah’s Philadelphia is located in a 4,322-square-foot performance venue in the back of the casino floor. The facility features 19 lounge seats, 11 high-top tables, 45 large television screens, bar seating and food and beverage options “tailored specifically for game day.”

The betting venue will operate from 11 am to 12 am Monday to Friday and from 10 am to 12 am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Betting Revenue Passes $2 Million in December

Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in the fall of 2017 as part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package. However, it was not before mid-November that the state went live with legal wagering on sporting events.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National opened the state’s first sportsbook in November, followed by SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh in December. According to the latest financial information released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s first three sportsbooks generated revenue of $2,006,546 in December. In November, Hollywood Casino recorded wagering revenue of $508,996.60 during its first two weeks of operation. That brings the state’s overall betting revenue to more than $2.5 million since legal betting services commenced.

The three sportsbooks handled $16,173,090 in wagers in December, stats also showed. Given the fact that Pennsylvania’s sports betting market is still into its first weeks, it should be noted that it is hard to say what exactly the reported figures mean.

Parx Casino in Bensalem and the South Philadelphia Turf Club joined the Pennsylvania sports betting field on January 10 and January 17 with their own sportsbooks. Both properties are owned by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment.

The market is set to grow even more in the coming months as Valley Forge Turf Club is targeting March launch of its sports betting facility. That property, too, is owned by Greenwood. It also became known that Presque Isle Downs has applied for a betting license from the state’s Gaming Control Board. The regulator’s next meeting is to take place on February 6 and Presque Isle Downs’ management hopes that the casino’s application will be reviewed during that meeting. The property was recently acquired by Churchill Downs.

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PokerStars Caribbean Adventure: A Peek at Its Largest Main Events

For another year, poker enthusiasts from near and far gathered at Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island in the sunny Bahamas for the PCA poker festival and its plethora of thrilling events. The first-ever edition of the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship definitely stole the show and broke records that few believed could be broken.

But while the PSPC with its 1039-strong field and $26,455,500 prize pool was the highlight tournament of this year’s PCA, the Main Event created quite some buzz itself. Chino Rheem topped the field of the prestigious tournament for a first-place prize of $1,567,100 and the shiny PokerStars trophy.

With 865 entries, this year’s PCA Main Event was a big tournament. However, it was not the biggest one ever. To celebrate one of the hottest events on the poker calendar, Casino News Daily has looked back to previous editions to list the largest PCA Main Events to have taken place in the history of the popular series. Here they are!

2011 PCA Main Event – 1,560 Entries

The 2011 edition of the prestigious tournament was the largest-ever Main Event in the history of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure series. The event featured a $10,300 buy-in fee that year and drew a massive field of 1,560 entries who generated a prize pool of $15,132,000.

The players who occupied the top 232 positions scooped a payout from the tournament, but it was Galen Hall who collected the largest one. The player received $2.3 million for his efforts and for being the last man standing in a record-breaking PCA Main Event, which is yet to be beaten in attendance numbers.

Christopher Oliver finished 2nd in the tournament, good for $1.8 million in prize money. Ionel Anton rounded out top three with a cash prize of $1.35 million.

2010 PCA Main Event – 1,529 Entries

The field of the 2010 PCA Main Event was almost as large as the one that took place the following year. It drew 1,529 entries from all nooks and corners of the world to eventually generate a prize pool of $14,826,800. There were prizes for the top 224 finishers of all players who paid the $10,300 buy-in to enter that year’s edition of the tournament.

Harrison Gimbel was the player to outwit and outlast the massive field of the 2010 PCA Main Event. The player took home $2.2 million for his performance in the major tournament. Gimbel beat Tyler Reiman heads-up to get his hands on the top prize and the tournament trophy. As for Reiman, he collected not a bad payday of $1.75 million. Barry Shulman finished third for $1.35 million.

2009 PCA Main Event – 1,347 Entries

The third largest PCA Main Event to have ever taken place attracted 1,347 entrants who created a prize pool of $12,674,000. The top 199 finishers claimed payouts from the $10,000 buy-in tournament, minimum cashes starting from $12,500.

The 2009 edition of the PCA Main Event was a special one and remained in history as the one to award the largest first-place prize. Canadian player Poorya Nazari topped the tournament’s field to go home with $3 million in prize money. The player emerged as the winner after battling out for the title with Anthony Gregg. Gregg eventually received a consolation prize of $1.7 million for his second-place finish.

2008 PCA Main Event – 1,136 Entries

The 2008 PCA Main Event saw 1,136 entries pay the $8,000 buy-in to enter the race for the title and the first-place prize. The tournament’s prize pool amounted to $8,562,976 and the top 118 players were treated to a share of the money, min-cashes were worth $16,000.

Popular French poker pro Bertrand Grospellier was the star of that event. The Frenchman was the last man standing by the final table to lift the tournament trophy and head home $2 million richer. Hafiz Khan was Grospellier’s heads-up opponent. Khan collected $1,094,976. Kristopher Kuykendall walked away in third place for $800,000.

2012 PCA Main Event – 1,031 Entries

The fifth largest PCA Main Event happened in 2012. It drew as many as 1,072 entries for an overall prize pool of $10,070,000. That year’s edition of the tournament had a $10,300 buy-in fee. The top 160 players in the final leaderboard received a share of the prize pool, the lowest payouts totaling $15,000.

John Dibella was crowned the champion of the 2011 Main Event. The player ended up as the one to pose with the trophy for a celebratory picture and to collect the largest payout of $1.775 million. Kyle Julius presented the final challenge in Dibella’s march to victory. The player scooped a $1.5 million payout for his runner-up finish. Faraz Jaka rounded out the podium for $755,000.

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New Owner of Ocean Resort Casino Still Shrouded in Mystery

It has been a little over a week since Colorado businessman Bruce Deifik announced that he was selling Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City just six months after the property opened doors to the public, but the identity of its owner is still shrouded in mystery

Ocean Resort Casino, formerly Revel, was launched in late June 2018 to great fanfare. However, rumors about the property’s sale due to poorer than expected performance started floating just a few months after its opening.

Mr. Deifik bought the Boardwalk resort from Florida businessman Glenn Straub in early 2018. The property’s new owner paid more than $200 million to acquire it and invested another $200 million to do what Mr. Straub failed to do – reimagine and reopen what had formerly operated as Revel for just two years after becoming one of the poster children of the crash and burn of Atlantic City’s casino market.

Despite his efforts to finally turn the property into a profitable business, Mr. Deifik, a newbie to Atlantic City’s casino scene, has not been able to deliver. Ocean Resort Casino underperformed for the greater portion of its first six months of operation, lagging behind its Boardwalk competitors.

Reports emerged earlier this month that the property would be handed to another owner and Mr. Deifik confirmed those a few days later. The businessman said that an outside company would take majority ownership of the hotel and casino resort and that he would retain a non-controlling interest.

The new owner of the ailing Boardwalk complex plans to invest $70 million into opening a buffet, adding more rooms and suites, and upgrades to the casino floor.

Tenants to Operate as Usual

The mystery surrounding the property’s new owner has not affected operations, The Press of Atlantic City reported last week. Tenants who lease space at the resort have told the local news outlet that they operate and will operate as usual until the identity of the new owner is revealed.

The Press of Atlantic City noted that as of Friday, there was no record of the transaction published with the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office. Officials commented by saying that it could take more than two weeks before information about the deal becomes public.

Ocean Resort Casino’s new owner will have to obtain a license to operate in Atlantic City from the Casino Control Commission. The deal will also need approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Any filings with the two regulators will bear the name of the entity that is to assume ownership of the hotel and casino resort.

Deals of this time usually take time, so the mystery around Ocean Resort Casino’s new owner should not be seen as something unusual. It is yet to be seen what direction the property will take with another entity at its helm and whether that new entity would be able to solve its problems.

Most recently, it emerged that there were two outstanding liens filed by contractors and subcontractors that had worked at the resort ahead of its opening, which could mean that among other things, the new owner will have to deal with some financial issues.

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Portugal’s Casino Market Grows in 2018, Despite Digital Competition

Portugal’s land-based casino sector recorded a growth in 2018, despite intensifying competition from online gambling and lottery products, recently released revenue stats show

The country’s land-based casinos generated overall revenue of €318 million last year, a figure representing a 3.1% increase from 2017. Growing demand for slot machine games at the facilities drove the growth in the land-based casino space, it was reported. Portugal’s slot machine revenue totaled €263.9 million in 2018, up 3.4% from the previous year.

Estoril-Sol, an operator of land-based casinos and gambling websites, claimed the largest share in the local casino gambling market. The company manages casinos in Estoril, Lisbon, and Póvoa de Varzim. Its properties generated a total of €196.8 million in revenue last year, up 2.4% from 2017.

Estoril-Sol’s operations in Estoril saw a 0.5% increase in annual revenue to €64 million. Its casino in Lisbon generated €86.7 million, up 3.4% year-on-year, while its Póvoa de Varzim operation reported revenue of €45.9 million, up 3% year-on-year.

Estoril-Sol is the Portuguese arm of companies majority owned by subsidiaries of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho.

The Solverde group, another major operator of land-based casinos, reported overall revenue of €93.6 million last year, up nearly 5% year-on-year. The company runs properties in Espinho, Algarve, and Espinho.

Pestana Group Records Revenue Slump

The Pestana casino group was the only license holder that recorded a revenue decline last year. The company’s Pestana Casino Park in Funchal Madeira collected revenue of €8.4 million, down 3.1% year-on-year.

Commenting on the performance of the Portuguese land-based casino market, Solverde President Manuel Violas has told local news outlets that 2018 was “a reasonable year” for the industry. However, he pointed out that competition from the digital sector as well as from instant lotteries and traditional lottery products has grown last year.

Portugal re-regulated its digital gambling space a few years ago and issued first online gambling licenses in 2016. According to information from the local regulator, Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos, the country’s online gambling market was worth €108.7 million in terms of revenue generated during the first three quarters of 2018. Fourth-quarter results are yet to be released by the regulatory body.

Operators holding licenses from SRIJ are allowed to provide sports betting and online casino games, including online poker. According to the regulator’s latest report, revenue from sports betting totaled €57.3 million in the first three quarters of 2018. Revenue from online casino games amounted to €51.4 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2018. That figure included revenue from online poker. PokerStars is currently the only licensed provider of online poker in the country, although several other operators have expressed interest in entering the space.

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